The Long and the Short of It
My buyer and I approached a building near the Bowery.
“We’re early,” she said.
“Only by a few minutes,” I said.
“A lot can happen in a few minutes,” she said.
“It sure can,” I agreed.
“Anything, really,” she said.
We were buzzed in. The freight elevator took us directly to the third floor loft, a wide, open space with large windows overlooking the street.
A man was seated on a stool at a long wooden table, his back to us as we entered the loft. His long hair was being trimmed by man with a pink-streaked blond ponytail. Snip, snip. Dark strands floated to the floor.
“That you, Liz? I can’t turn around, but make yourselves at home.”
“Thanks,” said my customer. She walked over to the Traulsen refrigerator, opened it and looked inside. I walked over and closed it.
“What, he told us to make ourselves at home,” she said. “I’m
“I’ll buy you a hamburger,” I said.
“I’m cutting down on my meat intake,” she said.
“Then I’ll buy you a bagel,” I said.
“Hey,” called a woman from the opposite end of the loft. She was on the large bed, propped up by pillows and holding a magazine. “I’m hungry too.”
She swung her legs gracefully over the side of the bed and glided toward us. She had short, spiked black hair and was one of those fragile, fine boned women who also manage to be curvy. Her pale pink tank top and black pants looked like the size I might have worn when I was an embryo.
She shook our hands, glittery rings on most of her fingers. Then she walked over to the owner and looked at his head, front and back. “Don’t cut off any more,” she told the haircutter. “He’s good now.”
“No thanks,” I said. “I’m working.”
“What about you?” he asked my customer.
“I’m letting it grow,” she said. “But you’re good. Do you have a card?” He did, and he gave her one. He gave me one, too.
“So, anyone for an omelet?” the owner asked. He didn’t wait for an answer. He got up, paid the haircutter and went to the fridge. Took out some ham. Diced it with some onion and red pepper faster than I could sneeze, if I had been so inclined. Broke seven eggs with one hand. Whisked, briskly.
The woman set the table with plates of fine china, white with birds on them. Linen napkins. She poured cider into champagne flutes because she said they were, unfortunately, out of champagne.
The haircutter didn’t stay. “I don’t eat eggs,” he said.
We ate the fluffy omelet. It was delicious. The woman cleared the table and then the four of us played Scrabble.
Sometimes that’s how it went, selling real estate in the city.
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